A NEWPORT engineer is preparing for ‘war’ with archaeologists over a new theory which challenges ancient views about the construction of the pyramids.

Peter James has published an article which suggests accepted answers to the ultimate riddle of the sphinx – just how were mountains of tonne-weight blocks erected into such marvels of human ingenuity – are wrong.

‘The rise and demise of Egypt’s largest pyramids’, says it would have been impossible for the primitive builders to have completed some of the world’s greatest wonders so quickly.

Mr James, who has been restoring the Egyptian wonders for close to 20 years with his Newport-based company Cintec International, does not believe hundreds of loincloth-clad workers carried the blocks using huge ramps.

Rather, he thinks it more plausible the pyramids were built from the inside out, using scaffolding and larger core blocks on the outside, and smaller ‘in-fill’ materials - to strengthen and shape the structure - inside.

A diagram showing Peter James' theory:

South Wales Argus:

Mr James said: “If you calculate the number of blocks divided by the time it took to build the pyramids, it just doesn’t seem right that it can have been achieved as is believed.

“They would have had to carry them at a speed of one every three minutes or so.

“Also, the internal core and filling of the pyramids would never be seen so why fill it with quarried blocks that took time and presumably money to extract and cart to site?”

Dubbed “Indiana James” by his team in homage to his work, he has volunteered to prove his theory using the latest drilling techniques.

But he said he was anticipating a backlash about his revelations from some areas.

“I’m going to have war with archaeologists,” added Mr James, who has more than 30 years experience dealing with distressed structures. “They will say how would you know? You’re not an archaeologist.”

Among the pyramids Cintec has worked on is the third largest Egyptian pyramid - Red Pyramid, near Giza.

But Mr James said his most challenging structural strengthening was the 4,700-year-old Pyramid of Djoser – which he called ‘probably the most important structure in the world in construction’.

To achieve this the Cintec team invented a new way of supporting the pyramid from inside, all the way from its factory in Cwmbran.

Using large airbags, inflated on site inside the pyramids, they were effectively able to form a cushion for the structure and save it following severe damage from a 1992 earthquake.